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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:16 PM Reply   
I want to earn some WW points, so a build thread is in order!

Want a stiffer board? Add a stringer - wholesale cost of 1/16" basswood is like $0.60. This build is my interpretation of the corecell skinned, balsa railed Firewire's. Only I am swapping basswood for the balsa, the basswood is slightly stiffer than balsa without much increase in weight, maybe an extra 3 oz for the six layers i'm building up.

I swiped this from the Firewire site.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:19 PM Reply   
I like to start with the rocker hotwired in as it's easier to use my rocker bed as a saddle as I assemble the bits an pieces. Pictures of the rocker and outline.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:24 PM Reply   
I've previously cut the rail material using my rocker template. I'm going to glue up 3 pieces of the basswood on eash side and build up any additional width I need with balsa. Just to be safe, I always mark the inside of each piece with R or L so that I quickly identify which side of the wood needs a coat of epoxy. If I don't I swear I wind up with an extra R side coated and then a huge mess as I try and wrestle it into place.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:28 PM Reply   
I mixed up 4 oz of epoxy and as can be seen in the previous photo, I just paint the epoxy on using a cheap bristle brush. I reserve about 1 oz of the resin to paint on to the EPS core, which is 1 pound density. I paint everything very lightly, it's more than enough to keep things together.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:32 PM Reply   
I didn't get any pictures of it, but I lay up each rail individually, but all three pieces at once. I tape the basswood to the core, in the middle and then work my way from the center to the nose, and then from the center to the tail - very similar to lapping a rail with the external lamination.

Once everything is in place I slide the mess into the bag to hold it tight while the epoxy cures, which is where it is now.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-21-2010, 6:34 PM Reply   
Oh! Always be sure to have a trusty shop dog to stand guard over any loose EPS pellets.
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Old     (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-26-2010, 4:19 PM Reply   
Dr. Walker presents 500 ways to build a surfboard.
Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-31-2010, 5:39 AM Reply   
Jeff, I know you have probably answered this before, but what advantage does the wing give to the board? I know you have this detail on almost every board you make.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-31-2010, 8:10 PM Reply   
Hey Jon, more than anything all of the boards I've built are just different materials or bottom contours on the same shape/outline. The concept is to compare all the materials to see what gave the best performance and durability.

The concept behind the wing tough, is that it steps down the width of the board at the tail, quickly. If you look at the picture with the wing on the right side of the board you can see that the wing straightens out the outline around the fins. That parallel part of the outline helps with drive and also release.

The abrupt change also seems to assist with release when the board goes vertical. I don't seem much support of that, but I have witnessed it. I think a severe hip does the same thing.

In a general sense, they also give a pivot point, an definitive area where the board can turn.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-31-2010, 8:17 PM Reply   
The wings and rails attached and shaped, rail bands shaped in and the core is now ready for the deck skin.
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Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-01-2010, 4:48 AM Reply   
Thanks for the explination!! That makes sense. As always it is great to watch your builds. Do you have a top two or three builds that have given you the most durability and performance that you like? What is your best combination so far? Also how did your hollow carbon board turn out. I must have missed that thread.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 4:03 PM Reply   
We rode the Hollow Carbon this past Sunday and in a word: "sucked" is probably most accurate. The design specifically allowed the bottom to morph, creating concaves - or maybe it's best to say - the concaves change to adhere to the shape of the wake. Our wakes are so small and powerless that the "morph"ing either didn't happen or happened so late that it wasn't effective. I can see in an overhead wave in the ocean, how doing a massive bottom turn would shape the bottom to give the board some speed out of the turn. For my purposes, I used 6 oz Carbon because it's the cheapest. A 2 oz cloth might have perfoormed better, but I'm not going to invest $100 a yard for the stuff.

Also, in order to build up the stiffness the boards weight was not light. It was heavy like an 8 pound board, but it wasn't light like a 4 pound board. Overall, I can see any advantages to the concept behind the boat. Carbon has a great look, but being black it would absorb heat like crazy which would mean venting a ton out on the boat. It's stupid expensive. You can't see through it, so it makes working with it a pain. Not much to recommend pursuing that construction.

Of all the stuff we've built, the balsa wood has the POTENTIAL to be amazing (don't tell Ed or Petr they'll give me grief for years! ), but it's so inconsistent piece to piece, that it's hard to get the right balanced combination - I'd build one where the left rail was amazingly lively and the right one dead. Was great turning left!

Really love the perimeter stringers, but on a foam board, the deck glass tends to rip at the stringer under the heel at the tail and then the board is done. That happened to James the weekend before the World's in '08. The fix just didn't work. So that construction tends to have a life span of a few months. Then again wood...the inconsistency in the stringers would make one board magic and an identical one average - the only thing we could attribute it too was the stringer wood.

We've had the best luck with the high density foam compsand with carbon wrapped rails and high density foam frame. They come out very light, like a 4/4 x 4 epoxy board, but they don't get heel dents. The carbon on the rails gives that liveliness of the perimeter stringered boards, without the headache of tearing the glass under the heel at the tail. The high density foamrails and extra carbon out there at the rails give the board some perimeter weighting, which helps with rail set. That's been the best in terms of both performance and longevity...the drawback being it's a major PITA to build. It requires 5 trips into the vacuum bag and the board is almost shaped twice, once for the core and then once again, lightly, when the skins are attached.

I say PITA - I love to build, so it's fun for me, but it's exceptionally labor intensive.

Carbon Build Thread is here. Me riding it!
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Last edited by surfdad; 04-01-2010 at 4:08 PM. Reason: I fell asleep! :)
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 4:42 PM Reply   
Jon, I'm sorry to be so rude, thanks for the props and for following along.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 8:29 PM Reply   
The deck has two layers of 2 oz under the deck. I cut two pices of fabric and then fold them to get ready for wetting out.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 8:32 PM Reply   
I use the remainder of the sheet of corecell for the deck - simply tracing the outline and cutting with a pair of scissors.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 8:35 PM Reply   
I mix up two batches of resin, rather than 1 large one so that I have more time to work. The second batch I don't mix until I'm ready to use it.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-01-2010, 8:41 PM Reply   
I use about 2-3 oz to wet out each piece of eglass. I reserve the rest to mix up the slop to seal the underside of the deck skin.
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Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-02-2010, 7:45 AM Reply   
Thanks for the reply on the boards, and sorry the carbon did not turn out, but at least you know now. hahah Good test to never do again! Also did you end up adding thickness to this board compared to your other boards?? I like the look of the rails!
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-02-2010, 9:26 AM Reply   
No...no thickness added here, the rails are made of the same material that a center stringered board uses - the basswood. It's like having a total of a 1" thick stringer! I have a feeling this board will wind up too stiff - which, IMO, makes a board feel dead. Just the right amount of flex gives the board a significant amount of "pop" and liveliness.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-03-2010, 8:11 PM Reply   
Back to it after Good Friday. I leave the skin wide, so that I don't have to wrestle with it when I am attaching the deck skin. I bring the Corecell over the rails close using a single edge razor. The razor also makes quick work of any errant fiberglass.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-03-2010, 8:18 PM Reply   
I block sand to blend the deck skin with the rails using 50 grit.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-03-2010, 8:25 PM Reply   
I still have some more work to do on the rails, but they are mostly shaped and the deck skin is blended. I tried to be careful and blend the deck even with the first layer of the basswood.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-03-2010, 8:30 PM Reply   
The rail and deck skin blend.
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Old     (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       04-04-2010, 10:13 AM Reply   
Looks nice SD. Seems like you're always working with wood
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-04-2010, 3:43 PM Reply   
Thanks guys.

@ Show, I'm sure that you're mistaken about the frequency of my use of wood, SELDOM is a more accurate description.

The tail block is next. I had intentionally left the tail long, and I trim it and square it up, shortening it enough to add the tail block to get to my proper length.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-04-2010, 3:49 PM Reply   
I built up the tail block using 5 layers of 1/8" balsa strips. I picked the end piece for the character of the grain. The balsa shapes easily, so I just cut it relatively close and then glue it all up with 5 minute epoxy.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-04-2010, 3:52 PM Reply   
A few passes with the hand plane brings it down close and then the sanding block to match the rails, deck and bottom shape.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-05-2010, 8:15 PM Reply   
Most high density foams have a surface that is filled with craters. The foam is closed cell, so the craters don't go through the foam, but this surface poses a few problems. The first is that craters will trap air under the external lamination - when that air heats up like we'd have out on the boat, a delamination is almost assured. Another is that if the craters aren't filled, the external lamination will only be attached to the high spots between all the craters - substantially weaker than if the entire surface was uniform.

To address this most folks fill the craters with bondo or a resin and micro balloon mixture. I opted for the epoxy and microb's mixture. It only took about 2 oz, so not very much. The key is to work it into the craters hard. The Micrb's sand easily after the mixture cures.

I wanted to preserve the wood, so I taped it off and then I didn't have to be overly careful with working the mixture into the craters.
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Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       04-08-2010, 1:19 PM Reply   
I might freehand my install. Scary stuff on my balsa board.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-08-2010, 1:40 PM Reply   
I've been meaning to ask how your build was coming along. On the foam it was easy - the wood will be tougher. Maybe you can try clamoing a straight edge to do the center deeper cut and then move that for the two long straight sections. Then you'd just have to freehand the curved ends.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-08-2010, 8:05 PM Reply   
This evening, I installed the boxes and got organized for glassing the bottom.

I hit any high spots with the sanding block and it's ready to measure and mark.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-08-2010, 8:09 PM Reply   
I measure and mark the centerline of the boxes and then place one of the boxes upside down flush with a mark I've made for the rear of the box and align with the centerline and then trace the outline of the box onto the foam.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-08-2010, 8:14 PM Reply   
The rear of the rail boxes have the Futures logo on them, the set screw threads are at the front. The base of the fins looks centered lengthwise in the box, bit it is actually offset about 1/16" of an inch forward. I can't see any offset on the round part of the flange, but I always mark the box outline by placing the front forward.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-08-2010, 8:18 PM Reply   
The Futures fin box installation kit. Aluminum guide, round black collar, router and clear plastic alignment tool.
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Old     (konaking)      Join Date: Mar 2008       04-11-2010, 6:51 AM Reply   
As usual great job SD but how do you have so much time during tax time ???
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-11-2010, 7:01 AM Reply   
Thanks Kona - long time no see. How have you been? In response to your question: employees.
Old     (konaking)      Join Date: Mar 2008       04-11-2010, 8:01 AM Reply   
Ha ha. LG.I have been skiing all winter finished up yesterday now I need to get the boat out of storage.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-11-2010, 5:03 PM Reply   
Good for you! We've been snowboarding "almost" every weekend, we haven't had this much snow in years.

Both the top and bottom are laminated, I need to grind the boxes open. As folks can see in the first picture, the deck and botto are white. I believe it's paint, which I'll do before hotcoating. I'd love to do a black pinline between the white and wood.

I'm liking the visible wood on the rails.
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Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-12-2010, 7:03 PM Reply   
Only one layer of glass on the top and the bottom to finish it off? Can't wait for the paint job!!
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-12-2010, 7:11 PM Reply   
Yeah - it doesn't need as much. The high density foam prevents the heel dents, and stiffness comes from structure, not so much the materials. Separating the two layers of fiberglass by 3mm, gives it the needed rigidity.

ahhhh my infamous painting...Just a simple white this time!
Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-12-2010, 7:29 PM Reply   
I know one of the things you look at is weight, how does this board compare to others you have built! HD foam seems like the way to go!
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-12-2010, 8:43 PM Reply   
This board is right at 4 pounds. That's my goal on most of the boards. I've built to under 3 pounds, but that's not practical. Above 5 pounds takes a concerted effort to add weight. HD foam is certainly a viable option for building light, rigid and ding resistant.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-13-2010, 8:08 PM Reply   
Rails taped off and primer on the deck.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-14-2010, 7:45 PM Reply   
First coat of white. I've used appliance epoxt spray paint, I've found this does well under a hoatcoat.
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Old    Chaserwaser            04-16-2010, 8:08 AM Reply   
i am so impressed by this post you are doing such an amazing job and your going to be so proud of it once it is done
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-29-2010, 7:50 PM Reply   
Finally done, except to apply traction. I threw my back out over the weekend and have basically been sitting on a heating pad for a week!
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Old     (jdjjamesz)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-04-2010, 8:28 PM Reply   
hey jeff ,has green peace come knocking on the door yet...
Old     (Cyoda44)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-16-2010, 1:47 PM Reply   
Awsome build. I can't wait to see your finished "Art"
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-16-2010, 8:28 PM Reply   
Thanks Chase and Charlie and thanks for following along. This "art" will just be solid white, I'm trying to duplicate the original board - but I am sure I can screw up solid white

Primer on the bottom.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-19-2010, 7:52 PM Reply   
Almost done! Love my workbench!
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Old    Chaserwaser            04-21-2010, 10:42 AM Reply   
blah solid white? at least do some sticker art on it or something haha that piece is to amazing not to make it your "own" check out www.endlesssummertattoo.com and check out the owners drawings / paintings he does on his surfboards there sick.. get creative!

Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-21-2010, 12:15 PM Reply   
If I could draw like THAT! I'd do inspirational stuff tooooooooooooo.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-21-2010, 7:45 PM Reply   
Hotcoat on the deck - beautiful view of my outdoor workbench
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-23-2010, 8:06 PM Reply   
Hotcoat on the bottom.
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Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-30-2010, 6:41 AM Reply   
Very Nice Jeff, and Sorry to hear about your back, you are going to have to get out behind that boat to streatch it back out. At least I am sure that is what the doctors would say ;-) Once you get the traction on, can you take a closer pic of the board and the rails? Good luck with you back! Jon T
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-30-2010, 9:20 AM Reply   
Thanks Jon and for the sympathy too! LOL - yes alternating stretching and then soaking in cold water up to my neck! After I get the traction on I'll try and remember to snap a quick picture of the rails up close and personal. The wood is a really good look.

I have a fire to put out on a mold I'm building, I didn't get out to laminate the first few layers of 'glass because of my stupid back and my flanges curled up! Reminded me of that scene from the Wizard of 'Oz when the house lands on the WW of the W when the ruby slippers are removed.
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Old     (jdhart73)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-01-2010, 12:23 AM Reply   
ARE... YOU.... ****TING.... ME???

Wow, impressive dude!!
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-03-2010, 6:54 PM Reply   
Thanks jd - you must be referring to my outdoor workbench!

I tried to get pictures of the rails up close, but all I did was provide further proof why I am NOT a professional photographer. I'll try it again.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-03-2010, 7:02 PM Reply   
So we got a chance to ride it yesterday - it was so windy that it was hard to ride - going into the wind was like being in a rainstorm from the sprag from the boat.

I didn't like the tail shape, the square tail is just not my favorite.

It was plenty fast, and light enough you could toss it around, but it wasn't "alive". I think that much wood on the rails just made it "dull", like it was too stiff along the perimeter and actually transfered flex to the center.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-03-2010, 7:04 PM Reply   
It was plenty loose and drivey, just not "magic".
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Old     (jon_tollefson)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-04-2010, 7:12 PM Reply   
Sweet, glad your back is all good, and that you got to get out and ride the board. I would not worry about the pictures, but maybe a pic that is not so close up would be good. Just an overall look of the board. If not no problem, to bad the board isn't what you expected. How do you know that you don't like how the tail feels? I guess I need to ride more.

PS, This board has to be 150% better than any board I have built!!
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-05-2010, 10:12 AM Reply   
@ dj - over my wakesurf building? nah - but they did have an issue with my "baby seal clubs - 4 sale" website JOKE!!!!

@ Jon - I'll try and snap a picture or two over the weekend. My back is still bugging, just not enough to keep me off the board. Those square'ish corners felt like they grabbed in turns and off the top. Not that such a tail is bad, I just didn't care for it. Thanks for following along, Jon.
Old     (hawaj)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-12-2010, 2:50 PM Reply   
Great job Jeff. Thanks for sharing.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-12-2010, 4:54 PM Reply   
Petr, my friend! It's been so long since we've seen you! How are things in CZ? Thank you for your kind words.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-30-2010, 7:27 PM Reply   
First wing rough cut, ready for final shaping and the material glued up on the opposite side.
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Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-30-2010, 8:07 PM Reply   
And the other side rough cut.
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